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Premenstrual dysphoric disorder – Causes and Symptoms

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) experienced by approximately 3-8% of women in their reproductive years. It is disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and it causes extreme mood shifts.

PMDD affects a woman’s mood significantly and should be taken seriously as a condition requiring medical attention. It is a biological condition, caused by changes in the chemicals produced by the brain. It is not a psychological or personality disorder, nor is it a figment of the imagination. PMDD affects about 5% of women who are in their reproductive years. Although this doesn’t sound like a big statistic, it is still a significant disorder because of the way it affects women. The most noticeable thing about PMDD is the way it interferes with a woman’s lifestyle in the days before her period.

Studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical in your brain that helps transmit nerve signals. Certain brain cells that use serotonin also control mood, attention, sleep, and pain. Hormonal changes may cause a decrease in serotonin, leading to PMDD symptoms. PMDD causes extreme mood shifts that can disrupt work and damage relationships.

Symptoms include:


 Markedly depressed mood or feelings of hopelessness

 Marked anxiety or tension, feeling keyed up or on edge

 Marked shifts in mood (suddenly tearful, overly sensitive)

 Persistent, marked anger or irritability, increased conflicts

 Loss of interest in usual activities (e.g., work, hobbies)

 Difficulty concentrating and focusing attention

 Marked lack of energy, feeling very easily tired

 Marked change in appetite, overeating, or food cravings

 Sleeping too much or having a hard time sleeping

 Feeling overwhelmed or out of control

 Physical symptoms (e.g., breast tenderness/swelling, headache, joint/muscle pain, bloatedness, weight gain).

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms then contact Mrs. Sarah Hussain, a very experienced gynaecologist who can treat PMDD very well. As this is a chronic condition that necessitates